Holiday in IrelandBy Jess Long
he days are getting longer and the weather is getting milder. Spring is slowly approaching in London and with each sunny day my spring fever gets antsier. Just this past weekend, enjoying the warm rays and the leave-my-jacket-at-home temperatures, I spent my entire Saturday in the park. Relaxing with friends and getting excited for the changing city, it seemed that all of London was hit with the same eager feelings that we were. Accompanying the smells of budding flowers and the sights of growing shrubbery were causal walkers, happier demeanors and an extended vibrancy through out the city.
My seasonal fever, growing anticipation from the transition of one season to the next, will most likely adapt to this day to day fever, transparently displayed amongst the English folk I’ve encountered. As opposed to an entire season spent in hibernation followed by a season spent constantly outdoors, Europeans seem to have much more of an al fresco attitude, thus encouraging them to enjoy the nice weather every time it is graced upon them, regardless of season.
I imagine this soaking up of every atom of sun at every chance possible, may also be related to the relatively dull summer that tends to loom over London. Familiar with agonizingly cold winters in Rhode Island, soothed with warm thoughts of flip flops and boating, I may be in for a real surprise when my fleece jacket fails to make the winter clothing pile during my UK summer. Yet as long as I store the mittens and the extra pairs of socks, I’ll be quite content.
With the creeping warmer days and the forthcoming springtime, I also expect to get more days of work teaching horseback riding lessons in the city center, as the number of clients rises with the temperatures. While my search for a marketing job continues, my minimal experience mixed with my UK working visa and a time of nationwide unemployment, alas the odds are rooting against me. With that said, I consider myself fortunate, knowing that my most favorite pass time can help pay my rent, providing me with the spending money necessary to relish my time here and take advantage of the many outlets that life in London has to offer.
Among these outlets is the ability to travel easily and inexpensively. Mike and I spent a long weekend in Ireland earlier this month and enjoyed our time greatly. We kissed the Blarney Stone and drank Guinness from its source, therefore crossing off two more items from the “1,000 Things To Do Before You Die” list. After hearing great traditional Irish music and involving ourselves in great Irish conversations, our excitement to plan our next trip is brimming; although, I must admit, it’s hard to choose our next holiday with highly desirable destinations surrounding us on all angles. So between the job hunt and the part time position, my city explorations and future trip planning, and the hours spent with my friends and fiancé enjoying my mid 20’s, my time in London is whizzing by me, much quicker than I can seem grasp on to.
One third of my time abroad has passed yet my to do list continues to be as tall as I am - familiarize myself with the London neighborhoods both off the beaten path and those over traveled, explore England by visiting Stonehenge, Cornwall and the countryside, travel through Europe while introducing myself to new cultures - the list could continue for days. With so much to do, I must continue living day to day and savoring each moment. After all, isn’t that part of the beauty of being abroad? New stories, new memories, and an ever growing list of new things to experience…